London-based Expanscape has developed a seven-screen transportable PC and is surely in line for a mention, if not a prize in the Guinness Book of World Records. It’s a vision of excess, but sure as Christmas, there is a population of users who have been waiting for this very thing.
As pictured, the luggable comes with four 17.3-inch 4K UHD panels and three 7-inch 1,920 × 1,200 resolution displays.
|The Aurora 7 tucked up. (Source: Expanscape)
The displays slip and slide and rotate into various pockets behind the main screen, except for the one in the lower right corner of the keyboard. That screen is multi-touch and can be used as a system monitor. The keyboard itself is a full 104-key tactile-feedback unit.
The system weighs 10 kg ~ 22 pounds and can run on its internal batteries. There are four internal NICs, two of which are wireless.
It is powered by either an AMD 3950X (16 Cores/32 Threads) or an Intel i9-10900k (10 Cores/20 Threads). The A7 M3 version has a CPU with up to 128GB of RAM, and 16TB of SSD. A single Nvidia GTX 2070 series GPU drives all the displays. The company is experimenting with GTX 2080 to see if they can run it on battery.
|The Aurora 7 M3. (Source: Expanscape)
The A7 M3 is the third iteration of the Aurora 7 Prototype. The company is planning to provide prototype demonstrations in the near future.
What do we think?
You know what we think—we love it. I’d love to see one and play with it. The screen configuration will be great for data users, but the number and thickness of the bezels will probably not appeal to graphics content creators.
The seven screens deliver over 40 megapixels—40 in a notebook configuration! That’s damn close to my 4-8-4 53mp configuration which is testing the bandwidth capacity of the AMD AIB I’m using. No doubt the GTX 2070 is giving those screens in the A7 M3 everything it has got. Nvidia specifies the GTX 2070 at a max resolution of 7680 × 4320 which is only 33.18 Mpixels, so somehow Expanscape is squeezing an extra 6.8 megapixels or ~ 20% which is beyond binning range, so the mega-screen Londoners have some magic.
One of the applications for this system is as a mobile security operations center, another could be a plant process monitoring system. In any case, it wins the prize of the most screens on a laptop.
The prototype used a GTX 1080, had three 4K IGZO screens, and weighed between 10 and 12 pounds. They showed it at CES 2017.